Attack on Titan Season 3 Episode 9 Review: Ruler of the Walls

The massive titan of Rod Reiss continues to drag itself toward Orvud District. Erwin’s plan becomes more clear as Hange explains why it would be a bad idea to evacuate the citizens. Because Rod is an abnormal Titan he would be drawn to a larger crowd of people. If they evacuate it simply will change direction, potentially destroying the wall itself and killing more people.

Erwin acknowledges that the scouts are duty bound to protect the citizens and that even though they will use them as bait, they have developed a plan to save them if needed. The scouts will have the citizen participate in a “emergency evacuation drill.” They begin in the morning, but the citizens aren’t interested. They complain and question the authority of the scouts. Considering their attitude I can only conclude that these people haven’t been exposed to the Titans much.

Regardless, they quiet down as they notice the smoke coming from Rod’s Titan form. Cartsen orders the scouts to shoot Rod with cannon’s from a top of Wall Sina. This goes as well as I expected, which is to say not very well. Erwin has a seemingly ridiculous plan that of course is going to work. As Titan battles tend to go this one wasn’t the most action packed, but it made up for it by being the most disgusting. Rod having been crawling with half his face buried in the ground and well as his stomach, no longer has either.

His entrails fall out on top of Wall Sina. Finally, the citizens see the Titan and begin to flee. From this point the main scouts take over. After blowing up gunpowder near the Titans hands, it falls over. Eren carrying barrels of gunpowder, literally throws it into the Titans face. The heat causes them to blow up, resulting in an chain reaction that destroys the top half of Rod. Piece’s of the Titan fly off and Erwin order’s the Scout’s to cut up the chunks. The Scouts do so with Historia finally delivering the death blow to her father.

We finally see the results of what happened to Kenny and his squad. He appears to be the only survivor and is fatally wounded. Levi and another soldier find him sitting against a tree. As Levi noted his likely fate is death, Kenny shows him a syringe. There’s no way that this series will have another human made Titan so close to Rod. I think Kenny dies before he can use it or he gives it to Levi to use. The action in this episode was simple and mostly secondary. This episode was largely about the character growth of Historia and Eren.

Eren realizes that he was too arrogant. He seems to come to terms with the fact that despite his Titan abilities he’s not the “main character.” Eren of course remains very important to the series but it feels like he’s at peace with his place in the Scouts (and hopefully the series). I still think Historia’s transformation was too quick and not earned like Eren’s, but it will be good to see them accept themselves. With Historia now Queen, the scouts have a powerful ally, while killing off almost all of their non Titan enemies. A perfect time to head to the basement.

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Attack on Titan Episode 8 Review: Outside the Walls of Orvud District

Rod beings transforming into a Titan that is twice the size of the Colossal Titan. While transforming Rod destroys the cavern. In order to survive they turn to Eren. As typical of him, Eren has been begging to be “eaten.” He continues to be a “crybaby,” calling himself “useless.” Eren continues to apologize, but Jean does accept it stating that “that Eren has never accomplished anything by himself.” Conny reminds him that “collectively they have been through worse.”

Finally, Eren decides to grab a bottle labeled “armor” and breaks it in his teeth. He transforms and pillars of crystal beings to reinforce the ceiling of the cavern. The squad hides underneath Eren. The Anti-Personnel Squad is harmed however. Caven and another solider are crushed by debris form the cavern ceiling. Unsurprisingly, Hange survives, as Armin and Moblit escape with her Erwin arrives with the scouts.

Meanwhile, Eren is freed from his crystallized Titan and has apparently gained the ability to “harden,” his skin. Levi points out that this is can be used to rebuild the Wall Maria. Interestingly, Rod’s Reiss Titan is strange. It’s large and seems to have a torso too long to stand, along with arms and legs too weak to lift him. Instead of walking upright it crawls and burns everything in it’s wake. According to the Scouts they believe that Rod is an Abnormal Titan.

Historia is asked by Hange if she’s okay with her father being killed. Considering the fact that a Titan of that size must be killed. If find the attachment between Historia and Rod to be weak. It’s really unconvincing to me that she would sincerely care about him. However, she accepts that her father must die.

This episode wasn’t really as entertaining or interesting as the previous ones. That’s no real issue, all episodes don’t need to be spectacular. Mostly the episode felt slow and there wasn’t anything new revealed. Regardless, I’m curious why Erwin won’t evacuate the civilians, the next episode is going to be very interesting.

Attack on Titan Episode 7 Review: Wish

Rod Reiss gives Historia hope that she can “meet” her sister. He claims that she’s not “entirely dead” he takes out a syringe that Eren quickly recognizes and begins to panic. Meanwhile, the scouts begin their assault on Chapel and the Anti-Personnel Control Squad. The doors open, then the scouts roll barrels of gunpowder down the stairs. Levi and the other enter. Sasha uses her bow and arrow skills to shoot the barrels with fire arrows.

Using signal flares, they are able to create a smokescreen. Levi quickly counts the numbers of Anti-Personnel Squad-members (35). Armin informs the others of the weakness of their Anti-Personnel ODM because it “requires that they fire in the same direction they intend to shoot their anchors, so they are unable to attack someone directly behind them.” Jean and Conny both get their first human kills, signalling a major change in the series as particularly Jean was apprehensive to do so.

Unsurprisingly, Mikasa and Levi overwhelm the Control Squad, taking out several of them each. Kenny attacks Levi, who then manages to wound Kenny in the stomach. Kenny flees. Hange approaches Caven. She manages to shoot Hange in the shoulder with her ODM gear piercing Hange’s shoulder. She then throws Hange against one of the crystal pillars. While, Attack on Titan is know for killing off main characters, I don’t think THIS is will be the moment that Hange will die. Caven takes this moment to flee with her squad.

We finally get to see what happened in the past. Basically, a titan created the cavern, the 3 walls and altered peoples minds. When Frieda was 15 she ate her uncle and inherited the Founding Titan and memories of the of the old world. This process has been repeated over and over in the Reiss Family. He claims that Grisha stole this power from Frieda and “gave” it to Eren, who lacks the Reiss blood and cannot make it work properly.

Kenny is upset once he here’s this. Disappointed that he cannot become a titan and eat Eren, he pulls his gun on Rod. Up until this point Historia was buying what Rod was telling her, but Kenny throws a wrench into it. He asks Historia “if she remembers everything Rod has done to her,” and that “the only thing Rod cares about is her blood because he does not want to become a Titan himself.”

If it’s not obvious, Rod is clearly a coward. He positions himself as some sort of steward of his families control over the titan power. Considering how quickly he goes to get his Historia after his families massacre is questionable. Regardless, Rod encourages Historia to inject the syringe and become a titan and eat Eren.

She’s hesitant and realizes that Eren hasn’t transformed yet. She asks him why and Eren begins to cry and explains that “they would not be in this position if his father had not come here five years ago.” He recalls all the “costs” that Frieda’s death resulted in. Eren has his moments in this series and sometimes if find his emotional complexity endearing. However, he can be needless self-deprecating and it can become annoying.

Historia changes her mind as she remembers Ymir. She throws the syringe to the ground and begins to free Eren as he begs her to eat him to stop everyone’s suffering. She pulls out the first set of chains as she tells him that “that she wants nothing to do with exterminating the Titans. Let humanity get wiped out.” Rod begins to crawl his way toward the puddle and licks it, turning himself into a Titan.

I’m glad to see Historia come to he senses. I predict that Eren should transform to save himself from Rod, but in the state that he’s in maybe not. I’m assume of course that Rod would be a mindless Titan, which could mean that he attacks Kenny and the control squad as well. Being an “ordinary” titan should make him easy to kill anyway.

 

Attack on Titan Episode 6 Review: Sin

In the underground chapel built by the Reiss family, Historia reveals to Eren that “everything is all right,” and that her father is “an ally of humanity.” An ally despite the issues he caused for the Scouts, the murder of Pastor Nick and Dimo Reeves. I like Historia but she is rather naive to believe that he father is an ally of anyone but himself. Considering her childhood I think that she really wants to believe that her father is sincere so that she can have a family. Regardless, Rod decides that he will explain it everything to Eren. Having himself and Historia place their hands on Eren triggers memories from Grisha Yeager (Eren’s father). These memories depict Grisha’s “sin.”

Historia recovers some of her memories after touching Eren and realizes that she wasn’t alone as a child, but a dark haired young woman helped her and taught her to read. Rod tells her that woman was his daughter Frieda and she was Historia’s half-sister. Grisha’s sin was the killing of Frieda Reiss. He reveals that Grisha killed Rod’s entire family after he ate her. Gaining the Power of the Titans from Frieda. Grisha has been a mysterious figure in Attack on Titan. It’s stunning how monstrous he turns out to be or was he. Was the Reiss family really for humanity or for their own power? I’m betting their own power. We also learn how Eren received his powers, he ate his father. Knowing Eren this truth is going to weigh on him for some time even if it was an accident. However, considering his fathers knowledge of titans, I get the suspicion that he wanted Eren to eat him.

Kenny the Ripper interrupts them, telling them of the coup. Kenny seems to be subservient towards Rod, whom he calls King. Rod orders him to prepare for the Scouts to arrive. Meanwhile, we see how Zachary plans to treat the nobles, torture them. Basically he strips one naked and feeds him from the “bottom up.” It’s all quiet grotesque but I have no sympathy for the noble anyway, so I don’t care. It also turns out that Erwin’s father was right, the Royal family has the ability to erase memories. Of course certain bloodlines are immune to it’s effects. The nobles are telling all these secrets because they expect that no one will remember anyway.

The scouts prepare to get Eren and Historia. Armin, Mikasa and the others contemplate what their plan should be. Kenny is considered by Levi to be their biggest obstacle. He states that it would be smart for them to consider Kenny the “enemy version of him,” but “deadlier.” We finally get more clarification on Levi and Mikasa relationship with Kenny. Mikasa reveals that her dad did tell her that the Ackermann family had been persecuted. Levi asks her about a moment when she felt a “hidden power,” she says that she had. Levi states that both himself and Kenny felt it as well. In a flashback from Kenny we see that the Ackermann family use to be the warriors that protected the King.

Kenny’s grandfather tells him that the King does hate them, but he can’t control them. The Ackermann family and the Oriental Clan are immune to the King memory erasing power. This all of course makes sense. Mikasa, Levi and Kenny are clearly among the best warriors in the series, the fact that they are also immune to the King’s power does add some comfort. I be interested in seeing if Kenny and Mikasa face off. The scouts arrive at the chapel and prepare for a fight, meanwhile, the Military police are already prepared to greet them. The series has scaled back on the action in favor of more world building, it appears that the next episode will see Attack on Titan return to that action. Which is great, I was starting to miss it.

Attack on Titan Episode 5 Review: Reply

This episode largely takes place in the throne room. Erwin makes a impassioned plea for the value of the Scout Regiment. The nobles seem to be hasty in their decision to disband the scouts. The Scout Regiment are the branch of the Military that faces off against the Titans the most and they do so deliberately. It features the best soldiers and have the best at using omni-directional mobility gear. Disbanding without having a replacement is short sighted and will cost everyone at some point if implemented.

Erwin claims that if “Wall Rose was breached, its residents would take refuge in Wall Sina again, but the earlier evacuation decimated their stockpiles. This time the residents would be forced to fight for resources and a civil war would erupt between Wall Rose and Wall Sina. Furthermore, Wall Rose is always suffering from a food shortage, so the best way to avoid war is to reclaim Wall Maria. It is the duty of the Scouts to charge at the enemy.” The nobles don’t care, avoiding answering whether they have a better plan to deal with the Titans.

Aurille instead focuses on Erwin’s violation of the “Charter of Humanity,” which reads: “Thou shall not prioritize one’s own gain over the longevity of humanity.” Erwin’s refusal to hand over Eren to the Military has resulted in the Charter being violated. Predictably, he’s sentenced to death. Nile Dawk’s sort of represents the audience here, I think that many of us watching shared his confusion. As Erwin is being lifted to his feet, Anka Rheinberger enters the thrown room and states a clearly false claim that the “the Colossal and Armored Titans have broken through both gates of Calaneth District. The reaction from the nobles is predictable as they demand the gate be closed, leaving half of humanity to death.

Nile disobeys the order, stating that he’s “a human of Wall Rose and he will not allow the gates to be closed.” Dhalis Zachary arrives with armed soldiers. He reveals that the report was false. Pyxis admits that he orchestrated the plan. What surprised me about Pyxis confession is that he was willing to let Erwin die, if the Government made a better choice for humanity. He declares a “coup d’etat.” This moment illustrates how the real power tends to be with the Military forces, after all they have the guns right.

The most surprising thing about this scene in the throne room is the incompetence of the “King” Fritz. His personality and psychical appearance gave off the impression that he was a ruler not to be messed with. It turns out that he was actually asleep with his eyes open. This episode plays with this fact by constantly showing him motionless over and over again. At first I assumed he wasn’t threatened, then I though he might have been dead and propped up somehow, the truth is played for laughs as when he is woken up by Aurille he’s ask if “it’s time to eat.”

So far each episode has solve some mysteries while creating new ones. This episode is no different. Hange explains the report that Erwin gave her. 5 years prior, the Reiss family save Rod Reiss were killed by bandits while praying in a Church. Rod found Historia right after they were killed. Levi concludes that there must be something in the blood of Reiss family. Hange suggests that the story doesn’t add up. The chapel was destroyed even though it was made of stone. Personally, I think he may have had his family killed, destroying the chapel to cover his tracks.

Finally, we see that Eren is chained in the Underground Chapel. I’ve mention before that Eren constantly getting captured seems to be a theme in this series. However, I wonder if the series is trying to turn the “Damsel in Distress,” motif on it head, by constantly having Eren (a male) getting kidnapped and being saved by Mikasa (a female). Anyway, Armin wonders that if “a Titan gains the powers of a person who can change into a Titan by eating them, then when did Eren become a Titan and who did he eat?” I don’t know if that’s how Eren got his powers. Considering their closeness from childhood wouldn’t Eren tell him he ate a Titan?

One Piece Chapter 914 Review: Leftover Town

O’Tama’s recovery

O’Tama quickly recovers as Zoro notes. Apparently, Bugleweed is a “wonder” drug. The weed doesn’t eliminate all the poison however. O’Tama is sweet and adorable, but I found her humility to be so what annoying. She refuses to accept the food Miss Tsuru offers her. Maybe I’m being too unforgiving. Year of starvation probably make her value food even more that most. Regardless, she does seem to evetually accept the food. It strange that she has issues with starvation, considering her devil fruit ability that allows her to create food like dumplings. She claims that it doesn’t help.

Leftover Town

Zoro ask why the town is called “Leftover.” Basically, when the Shogun Orochi took control of all the food and land they began hording it for themselves. The powerful officials send their rotten food, refuse and other things that they don’t want to be purchased and sold. That is why Leftover Town received it’s name. 20 years ago the Kozuki Clan ruled Wano, the Lord planted a field to feed the people. Oda is clearly setting up to restore the Oden’s to power.

The Gifters

We are quickly being introduced to new villains in this arc. The Gifters are a division of the Beast Pirates, they have been giving “Artificial Devil Fruit,” and each possesses a pair of black horns. They were created by SMILEs, which ” gives them the ability to transform some parts of their body, such as their arms or ears, into different parts of an animal’s body even some animals that live in the ocean.” Batman shoots an arrow at Tsuru for “bad mouthing the shogun,” he claims to have super hearing.

Meanwhile, the Gifter Gazelleman kidnaps O’Tama. Kiku, Luffy and Zoro give chase. It is revealed that Kiku is a samurai herself. I assumed that Zoro would get the legendary sword, but maybe Kiku will keep it. As they enter Bakura Town and prepare for battle, Law is alerted to their presence. He states that they must be stopped otherwise they’ll make a scene. I for one am looking forward to see how Law and his pirate crew fits into this arc.

Banana Fish Episode 007 Review: The Rich Boy

The boys head to California, we are quickly introduced to Max’s family. He has a son named Micheal and a soon to be ex-wife, Jessica. She pulls a shotgun on him fearing that Max is trying to kidnap their son. She sees Shunichi and stops. She offers Ash and Eiji a modeling deal, but Max suggest that “She’ll make you open your legs and show your butt hole.” She chastises him for his hypocrisy, considering he did the same thing “making a living out of taking shots of girls cooches.” I turns out that it was the birthday of Micheal, Max leaves him with a baseball mitt.

Jessica is an interesting and dynamic character, she doesn’t put up with the bullshit even from Ash. I hope to see more of her in this series. They finally head to Dawson’s mansion, Ash is quickly on alert. The maid tells them that “master,” is being kidnapped, when Ash arrives in the backyard they three men shoot at him. They miss every shot, Ash shoots the guns out of their hands. Ash inability to trust anyone leads him to be suspicious of Yau-Si, as he tells Shorter, “he’s too quiet.”

Ash hacks into a computer and learns more about, Banana Fish. I’m surprised that Ash is such a computer expert considering that he’s never been depicted as being good a tech. It’s likely a result of the modernization of the series. Furthermore, Ash is too well versed in Chemistry. How does he know what “Inert Alkaloids,” are? Meanwhile, Shorter learns about Yau-Si Dawson, but is quickly betrayed to Lee Hua-Lung, the brother of Lee Wang-Lung.

Max tries to understand what they discovered. He concludes that the military is probably involved. Ash of course decides that he’s going to see this through regardless. Shorter is ordered by Lee to spy on Ash. He’s told that Yut Lung will be “giving him orders from now on.” Understandably, Shorter is distressed by this, he realizes that Yau-Si is Yut Lang. Ash has a conversation with Eiji in which he tells him to “go back to Japan.” Basically, that he’s a large liability. Eiji ask for time to think it over. Yut Lang takes notice of Ash and Eiji’s relationship, he orders Shorter to kidnap him.

He needs to capture Ash alive and plans to use Eiji as bait. Shorter pulls a knife on him but Yut uses his sister against him. Shorter seems devastated that the Lee Clan is as he puts it ” the same as the Golzine gang.” He begins to cry which surprises Yut. The racial dynamics in this show is difficult for me to decipher. I’m not Asian so I don’t know if the reverence for powerful families like the Lee’s are common or if its specific to Shorter’s family. Also, I’m not sure that the racial politics are current or is it adapted directly from the manga series. The one issue I have with this series is that modernizing parts of it has lead to confusion. Finally, Max’s family is in danger. I’m hoping that Jessica doesn’t become a typical damsel in distress. Another, great episode though.

Attack on Titan Episode 4 Review: Trust

The last episode of Attack on Titan was important to expanding the background of characters Erwin and Historia. It also was dark, draining any since of hope from the series. This episode injects some hope back into it. Marlo Freudenberg and Hitch Dreyse are searching for the scouts in the woods, Marlo questions why the scouts would kill a civilian and flee. Considering the fact that they always risk their lives for humanity against the Titans. If you don’t remember, Marlo and Hitch were featured earlier in the series, in episode 23, entitled Smile: Assault on Stohess, Part 1. In that episode Marlo claims to have joined the Military Police “to uphold justice and do what’s right.” He’s mocked for this goal by Hitch, but seems sincere when he tries to stop some of superiors while they illegally sell ODM gear.

Anyway, They see Armin taking water from the river. Taking the bait when he surrenders, they are quickly ambushed by Mikasa and Levi. Marlo represents the theme of this episode the governments “truth” is starting to unravel. Nile Dawk tells two journalists that “judging by the evidence,” the scouts did kill a civilian. The younger journalist seems to be more interested in getting all the details, but is cut off by the older one. Dawk shows a concern that the new ODM gear is “perfect for killing people,” in particular scouts. He concludes that the Military Police will likely find themselves staring down their guns eventually.

Flegel Reeves is being chased by the Military Police, he’s chased into a dead end alley, but is rescued by Hange. She tries to get him to stand up against the government, which he is unwilling to do. Hitch is still concerned about Annie going missing, Levi informs her that Annie was the Titan. He decries the fact that ” Nobody knows a damn thing about this world . . . Not us or anyone else.” This is true of course, but is also the goal of the government. The government deliberately miss informs and keeps secrets from the Military Police and civilians. They can’t stop something if you don’t know what going on right.

Marlo asks to join Levi, but he’s rebuffed. Jean asks to tie them up himself, he “attacks” them. I’ll admit that considering Attack on Titans dark theme’s and event that have transpired, I almost thought Jean was going to kill them. However, Jean has always represented the humor in this series (along with Hange). He mocks Marlo for his terrible ” Bowl cut” hair style. Marlo quickly understands that it was a test. Marlo and Hitch aid the scouts in finding the checkpoint, and are told to return to their squad. The scouts take the checkpoint, taking the leader. Levi tortures him but only learns the last name of Kenny, Ackermann. Which is also the last name of Mikasa. There’s no way that she’s not related to Kenny, the question I have is Levi related to her as well.

Finally, Flegel gets “caught” by the Military Police. He gets them to give him a death wish, tell him why his father was killed. It was obvious that he would get the Police to reveal what really happened, but I was surprised that so many civilians witnessed it, as well as the previously mentioned journalists. However, can Flegel be the boss if the Military Police and the government know he’s a witness? Won’t they kill him and all the civilians anyway? Maybe the civilians, journalists and the Reeves family can start a resistance within the walls. The episode ends with Erwin telling Dawk that “When, and if the time comes, he will only watch,” and that “it’s up to you (Dawk) to decide. You and them.” Erwin is clearly going to be heading for execution the question is will it happen?

Tenrou: Sirius The Jaeger Episode 4 Review: Beginning Of Trickery

The alliance between the Hyakko party and the vampires comes to an abrupt ending. The Alma company turns out to be the force behind the Royals. Their still a mysterious group at this point in the series. The Royals test their new experiment on the Military, and seemingly willing to sell the Military the new weapon. The Hyakko party commits a mass murder at the offices of Alma, the head of the Hyakko becomes interested in the new weapon.

The Vampires creation seems to be a Frankenstein type monster seen in the OP, it’s a little obvious considering the organ collecting but I’m curios how different it will be from the famous version of Frankenstein. One thing I noticed is the paleness of the Vampire’s and the “makeup” surrounding their eyes. I don’t know if the skin tone is a by product of vamperism or makeup. Regardless, it does make them obvious to the public if they are seen.

In addition to that they seem to be Vampire children. In some of the vampire lore, child vampires are seen as problematic because they tend to be impulsive and risk exposing the other vampires. I’m curious if their too immature or if it won’t matter. This episode also attempts to inject a weak romance into the series. I don’t particularly care about romance in anime, but this seems poorly managed. There’s wasn’t much left in the episode, hoping the action increases in the next episode.

Banana Fish Episode 5 Review: Death to Morning

The last episode of Banana Fish set up the mystery of “Banana Fish.” Ash gets out of jail on bail, he is warned that “if he flees or commits a crime,” his bail will be withdrawn. Of course Ash goes after Dino Golzine to get revenge for his brothers death. Ash leaves with Ibe, Eiji and Charlie, but Ash tries to abandon them to get his revenge on his own. However, Eiji takes control over the car and flees with Ash.

Meanwhile, when Dino is informed that he may be in danger, Dino is unafraid. He does however state that “Banana Fish is no human. It’s the name of a drug. That will change the world.” He wouldn’t elaborate further. Ash joins with Shorter to plan their hit on Papa Dino. They plan on attacking Dino’s restaurant “Club Cod,” he makes a monthly visit to the seafood restaurant. Club Cod is a front for a child sex trafficking ring.

All the anime I consume, I rarely run into one that focuses on realistic horrors of the real world. Banana Fish takes on sexually assault, gang violence, prison, war and unfortunately child sex trafficking rings. I say unfortunate not because I don’t think that it should appear in this series or any other one, but because it’s a sad reality. Regardless, these kids are kidnapped, drugged and then killed years later.

Ash and the others engage their plan, featuring a trunk. Ash rides on the top of the truck and somehow manages not to fall off and stand straight while shooting at Dino. He is shot in the arm by Arthur’s crew, while hitting Dino in the arm as well. The hit fails and Ash and the others are joined by Max and Ibe. The are out numbered and flee by jumping into the river.

Banana Fish continues to be a series that touches on heavy topics, while having complex characters. With all the mysterious threads and the large number of characters we finally get clear goals for the main protagonists, find out what Banana Fish is and kill Dino Golzine. They head to Cape Cod next, childhood home of Ash.